Definition - What does Caller ID Spoofing mean?
Caller ID spoofing is the process of changing the caller ID to any number other than the calling number. spoofing is a malicious technique where a caller masquerades as someone else by falsifying the number that appears on the recipient's caller ID When a phone receives a call, the caller ID is transmitted between the first and second ring of the phone. To transmit the caller ID, we use a technique called Frequency Shift Keying, which transmits the caller ID in a binary format. It is possible, during this part of the call, to transmit the caller ID we want instead of the true number.
Technology and methods
Caller ID is spoofed through a variety of methods and different technology. The most popular ways of spoofing Caller ID are through the use of VoIP or PRI lines
Explain Caller ID Spoofing
Caller ID spoofing has been available for years to people with a specialized digital connection to the telephone company. Collection agencies, law enforcement officials, and private investigators have used the practice, with varying degrees of legality. However, the advent of VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) service makes it simple for the average person to falsify a calling number, and as Internet telephony has become more common, so has caller ID spoofing.
Frequently, caller ID spoofing is used for prank calls. For example, someone might call a friend and arrange for "Prime Minister" to appear on the recipient's caller display. However, criminal uses of caller ID spoofing, such as identity theft and vishing (VoIP or voicephishing), have also increased significantly.
There are multiple online services that offer caller ID spoofing for a price; some even offer a 30-second free trial, so you can try out the service. To make the service work, all you have to do is provide three pieces of information: the phone number you want to call from, the phone number you are calling, and the number you wish to show up in the caller ID.
Once all the information is provided the service will create a conference type phone call and connect you to the number you have specified. If you wanted to, you could potentially set up something to spoof caller ID yourself. All that you need to do is set up a host with Asterisk and then have a SIP trunk line.
Some service providers have been known to allow any number in the caller ID sequence sent out on Primary Rate Interfaces. This allows any company having a legitimate purpose change the caller ID to a number they specify. Unfortunately, it also allows anyone who owns a Primary Rate Interface to specify a number for malicious purposes.
Some spoofing services work similarly to a prepaid calling card. Customers pay in advance for a personal identification number (PIN). Customers dial the number given to them by the company, their PIN, the destination number and the number they wish to appear as the Caller ID. The call is bridged or transferred and arrives with the spoofed number chosen by the caller—thus tricking the called party.
Many providers also provide a Web-based interface or a mobile application where a user creates an account, logs in and supplies a source number, destination number and the bogus caller ID information to be displayed. The server then places a call to each of the two endpoint numbers and bridges the calls together.
Some providers offer the ability to record calls, change the voice and send text messages.
Another method of spoofing is that of emulating the Bell 202 FSK signal. This method, informally called orange boxing, uses software that generates the audio signal which is then coupled to the telephone line during the call. The object is to deceive the called party into thinking that there is an incoming call waiting call from the spoofed number, when in fact there is no new incoming call. This technique often also involves an accomplice who may provide a secondary voice to complete the illusion of a call-waiting call. Because the orange box cannot truly spoof an incoming caller ID prior to answering and relies to a certain extent on the guile of the caller, it is considered as much a social engineering technique as a technical hack.
Other methods include switch access to the Signaling System 7 network and social engineering telephone company operators, who place calls for you from the desired phone number.
According to a report from the India Department of Telecommunications, the Government of India has taken following steps against the CLI spoofing Service Providers:
· Websites offering caller-ID spoofing services are blocked in India as an immediate measure.
· ILDOs, NLDOs and Access Service Providers have been alerted to the existence of such spoofing services, and shall collectively be prepared to take action to investigate cases of caller-ID spoofing as they are reported.
As per DOT, Using spoofed call service is illegal as per Indian Telegraph Act, Sec 25(c). Using such service may lead to fine or 3 years imprisonment or both
CAN YOU BYPASS AUTHENTICATION?
Voicemail used to use caller ID as the only form of authentication, allowing anyone to spoof the phone number and listen to the messages. This was a very insecure policy and most voicemail services have been updated to protect against this attack.
ARE THERE WAYS AROUND CALLER ID SPOOFING?
The call-back method allows for some security when you think caller ID spoofing is being used. You could put the caller on hold, and then call the displayed number. If the number is busy or you reached the company they said they are calling from then they are potentially telling the truth.
However, they could be forwarding you to the company. At that point, when you are on phone with the company in question, you could ask whether or not the person is calling on behalf of the company.
The final check you could make is to enter the number in question in a search engine. This allows you to see if the company has the number on their website or if the company has mention of a scam that is going on. It also allows you to figure out what other people are saying about number.
REAL WORLD EXAMPLE
Earlier this year, a tax scam in Pottsville, PA, claimed to arrest victims if they didn’t pay outstanding tax debts. The caller ID that was spoofed showed that the originating call was from a Pennsylvania phone number: 570-622-1234. This number belonged to Pottsville City Hall, giving a false sense of security to anyone who received the call. The police warned of the scam and reminded Pottsville citizens to never give out any personal information over the telephone.
It should be noted that spoofing a phone number with malicious intent is against the law. In Canada, the CRTC suggests suspected victims file a complaint if they believe the caller ID has been spoofed by a telemarketer.
The FCC also prohibits the use of using caller ID spoofing with intent to defraud, cause harm and wrongfully obtain anything of value.
If you ever question the number that you see on you caller ID, remember to be cautious. When anyone has the ability to call you as another person or company, it’s impossible to know his or her intentions. Make sure to take the time to verify the person on the other end of the phone.
Who's who on your phone.
ID thieves also can use your personal information to open new credit accounts (e.g., credit cards, mortgage or car loan), create a new identity or even obtain a job fraudulently. Often, you won't even realize something's wrong until a collection agency -- or the IRS -- starts hounding you for unpaid bills or taxes.
Another common caller ID spoof involves hacking into someone's voice mail account. Many cellphone users never bother to set up passwords on their voice mailboxes (big mistake). And, since many voicemail systems grant access to callers phoning from their own number, a hacker could easily spoof your number and gain access to your messages.
The increasing popularity of voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) phone services like Skype and Vonage also has increased caller ID spoofing activity. These services use computer addresses instead of actual phone numbers to connect via the Internet, so scammers can choose any available area code and phone number, making it even harder to determine who's who on your phone.
Other related identity theft scams to watch out for include:
Email phishing: Like spoofing, but with email. A supposedly trusted source (often from a fabricated email account) tries to trick you into supplying or confirming account information, log-in IDs or passwords, often by trying to create a sense of urgency; for example, saying your account will be frozen if you don't respond immediately.
Legitimate organizations rarely, if ever, ask you to verify sensitive information through a non-secure means like email. When in doubt, look up their contact information separately and call to verify if it's legitimate. And don't click on links or attachments in unsolicited emails, which could install malicious software on your computer.
SMiShing (for "Short Message Service" phishing): Like phishing, only it uses text messages sent to your cellphone. Even if you don't click on any links or share information, just by responding you're verifying that your phone number is valid, which means it could be sold to others who will try to trick you into their own scams.
What can you do to protect yourself against Caller ID Spoofing?
Don’t place all your trust in the Caller ID information presented to you
Now that you know that this information is easily spoofed by the use of 3rd party Caller ID spoofing services and other tools, you won't be as trusting in the technology as you have been. This should help you in the quest to Scam-proof Your Brain.
Never give credit card information out to someone who has called you
It’s a personal rule of mine that I don’t conduct any business over the phone where I haven’t initiated the call. Get a call back number and call back if you are interested in a product or service. Use Google to reverse lookup their phone number and see if it is associated with a known scam.